Gordon Freeman is a fictional character, the main protagonist of the Half-Life video game series. He is a theoretical physicist (Ph.D. from MIT) who finds himself thrust into a battle for survival against both alien and human forces. Throughout the series, Gordon must prevail in hostile situations despite overwhelming odds, often without backup. As a means of immersing the player in the role, the character never speaks, and there are no cut-scenes or mission briefings—all action is viewed through Gordon's eyes, with the player retaining control of Gordon's actions at nearly all times. The images of Gordon are only seen on the game's cover and menu pages, and also in advertisements, making them marketing tools rather than pictures of what Gordon is "really" like. Designer Gabe Newell has explicitly rejected giving the in-game Gordon a face or voice.
The character is introduced as a theoretical physicist working at the fictional Black Mesa Research Facility and involved in an experiment which accidentally opens an interdimensional portal, releasing confused, hostile beings into the complex. In the first Half-Life, the player, as Gordon Freeman, fights through the facility alongside fellow employees, engaging the aliens as well as a military unit sent in to contain the situation and silence any surviving witnesses. In its sequel, Half-Life 2, Gordon is introduced to a dystopian world years after the Black Mesa incident, along with an interdimensional imperial force known as the Combine that took advantage of the interdimensional portals and has established itself as the ruling force on Earth. Gordon joins the human resistance fighters and aids them in their struggle against their oppressors.
The name Gordon Freeman was coined by Gabe Newell during a conversation with Marc Laidlaw in his car. It included a homage to the physicist and philosopher Freeman Dyson. Newell disliked Laidlaw's proposed name, "Dyson Poincaré", which also included the surname of Henri Poincaré. The texture for Gordon's head was "too big of a job for just one person", so Valve designers combined references from four people. An earlier model of Gordon, known as "Ivan the Space Biker," had a full beard that was subsequently trimmed. Other iterations of Gordon's concept featured different glasses, a ponytail, and a helmet.
Gordon is a native of Seattle who exhibited an early interest in theoretical physics, especially quantum mechanics and the theory of general relativity. His childhood heroes were Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Feynman. After observing a series of teleportation experiments conducted by the Institute for Experimental Physics in Innsbruck, Austria, the transmission of matter became Gordon's obsession. Gordon has no known dependents. He graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. degree in Theoretical Physics. His doctoral thesis on the teleportation of matter through extremely dense elements was titled Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction Through Nonlinear Transuranic Crystal of Extremely Long Wavelength (ELW) Pulse from Mode-Locked Source Array.
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Links: Wikipedia Entry - Gordon Freeman Half-Life 2 Official Site Wikipedia Entry - Half-Life